Saturday, December 19, 2015

In which we just have a fun post because Lord knows we need it really

You guys, it is the Friday before Christmas in real time. I am sitting on my bed with the cats while Primo is at some holiday party run by the Dems.

1. I have been working at home all week, so I have not been bothering to shower much
2. It's a Friday after I have been working all week on projects where almost nobody is available- I stupidly tried to have a meeting with

  • an Italian
  • on his Friday afternoon
  • the week before Christmas
and that went about as well as you might have expected, which is, it didn't go at all. So I am frustrated because I have things to do but nobody is available so whatever.
3. I hate parties
4. I hate parties unless I already know the people there and already like them
5. I hate parties here in the winter because my choices are to look nice or to be warm and there is nowhere that these two options intersect. HELLO DESIGNERS! What happened to SLEEVES?
6. I want to work on my book and on this blog and on my other blog and on my Christmas letter.

I am here on the bed with the space heater turned to 11 and I am going to work on my book (which is work! Primo always asks why I write if it's work and I say because I like having written but the actual process can be excruciating.)


OK. Back to what I wanted to talk about.

I wanted to share this with you - it's the INS interview for marriage-based green card fraud.

I don't know if Primo and I could pass. Remember he is an engineer and strives for accuracy at all times.

I am a storyteller. My mission is to make it interesting. Plus I don't remember details.

Here are some of the questions we would never pass.

  • When and where did you meet for the first time?
    • Me: At our 20 year college reunion
    • Primo: No! At our 15th!
    • Me: I don't remember you.
    • Primo: I was there!
  • What did the two of you have in common?
    • Me: Um. I thought he was hot but his political ideas made me roll me eyes.
    • Primo: Nothing.
  • Who proposed to whom?
    • Me: Did you ever propose?
    • Primo: Didn't you ask me?
  • Did each of your parents attend the wedding?
    • Me: Yes, but his wanted to boycott it.
    • Primo: Yes. They were drunk.
  • Did anyone get drunk or otherwise embarrass themselves at the wedding?
    • Me: I see you have met my husband's parents.
  • Have you met each other's parents? When was the last time you saw them?
    • Me: At their funerals. I wanted to make sure.
  • Do you buy gifts for your inlaws? Do they buy gifts for you?
    • Me: Oh honey. Shall I tell you about the cast-iron cat?
  • How do you get along with your inlaws?
    • Me: Umm.
    • Primo: Her mom is great.
  • How many remote controls are in your house?
    • Me: I have no idea.
    • Primo: [counts in head and gets it right]
  • Do you have a DVD player? What brand?
    • Me: Does anyone really pay attention to that kind of thing?
    • Primo: It's a [whatever]
  • What kind of birth control do you use? Which brand?
    • Me: The pill. I have no idea which brand.
    • Primo: It's [whatever] brand.
  • When was your wife's last menstrual period?
    • Me: Ummmm.
    • Primo: On X date.
  • What is your favorite position? Missionary, doggie, cowgirl?
    • Me: What's cowgirl?
    • Primo: What's cowgirl?

In which the mob becomes inflamed

Commenter emma sent this image and wrote, "I'm imagining a group of blog readers armed with pitchforks descending on Ted."

Friday, December 18, 2015

In which Ted does indeed write a nasty, angry email to Primo, claiming that his travel expenses would pass audit (not from the IRS, they wouldn't - his expenses are not a tax deductible item from the estate), and he has to say a few nasty things to Primo, which makes me wonder if he has any idea about how power works and the fact that Primo has it and Ted does not

Subject: Reimbursable FL travel costs
From: primo
To: ted


I wanted you to know that I received the email about your travel expenses. I've spoken with the estate lawyer, who said that it should be possible to reimburse you for reasonable travel costs as long as the other family members (i.e., Jack and his kids) are OK with it and we offer them an opportunity for reimbursement as well. (Their costs were much lower, of course, but Jack certainly had some mileage expenses and Micheal paid for gas and/or bus fare when he traveled to the funeral.)

We are currently in the process of transferring the trust assets into a new account from which I will be able to disburse funds as trustee. (I am not able to use the existing checks or to move any money from the original trust account.) After the transfer is complete and we agree on a reasonable amount, I should be able to reimburse you.


Subject: Re: Reimbursable FL travel costs
From: ted
To: primo

Thanks, Primo. All of my travel costs are reasonable and will pass audit. Several of your phrases, e.g., “should be possible” and “other family members are OK with it” raise red flags.

Please consider my expense filing below as “a reasonable amount.” And please stop using the construction “should be able to reimburse you.”

Jack's mileage expenses and Micheal's gas/bus fares are of no concern to me, as long as they are documentable and can pass audit. I have no reason to expect that you would fail to exercise your fiduciary duty to our father’s estate regarding his will, his wishes, and and codicils he entered into.


ps) I’ve always wondered why you sign your name to an email that you obviously sent

pps) “currently” in the process is redundant 

In which I think Ted is going to get really annoyed, if not furious, about Primo's email telling him that the expenses for which he want reimbursement are "not reasonable"

Primo: I talked to the lawyer about Ted's expenses and sent him the email. He says it is not uncommon for family members to request reimbursement, but says that the beneficiaries of the trust have to agree to it and the expenses have to be reasonable.

Me: So Ted wants Jack's kids to give him money.

Primo: Yes. I sent Ted an email telling him that. What do you think is going to happen?

Me: He is going to get angry and write you an angry email.

Primo: Maybe. I don't know.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

In which Ted asks Primo to reimburse him (from the estate) not only for his visit to see Sly in the hospital but also for his trip for Doris' funeral and for Sly's funeral - AND he wants cash for the frequent-flier miles he used

1. Ted's wife's mother is sick. She is not dead. Therefore, her estate is paying for nothing.
2. The IRS does not allow deductions from an estate for someone who is not the executor. It is moot in this case as the estate is not large enough to trigger taxes, but still.

From: Primo
To: Goldie
Date: sometime
Subject: FW: Reimbursable FL travel costs

He is a completely shameless money-grubbing asshole.

I paid about $300-350 per round trip for my flights, and I flew mostly to/from Orlando to save money.

He wants me to reimburse him $875 per 25,000 airline miles? Delta values those miles at ONE CENT each when using them to pay for tickets.

He wants me to reimburse him for multiple dinners at $40-60/plate? I ate zero expensive restaurant meals.

If he's going to be reimbursed for these costs, we will certainly be reimbursed by the trust for all of your travel expenses in addition to mine.


Subject: Reimbursable FL travel costs
From: Ted
Date: earlier than sometime
To: Primo

Per Dad’s wishes and my email from last week, here’s the tally of reimbursable, out-of-pocket FL travel costs for me (and, minimally, my son and my wife).

These costs and the repayment thereof are in line with what my wife's mom’s estate has been reimbursing her for travel, with any double-charges relating to [my wife] eliminated. I checked with our CPA and he reminded me to instruct you to write “Non-taxable expense reimbursement” on the memo line of the check.

In the interest of saving money, I used FF miles, which cost approximately 1/2 of last-minute airfares. [My wife] researched the corresponding costs for mileage replacement—and whenever possible she used her elite status to save miles/money for my travel.

As you’re aware, I stayed at Dad's and at [my college friends'], also to save money, despite my severe cat allergies. Also, please note that [my wife's] mother’s estate covered the car rental costs ($500+) to attend Dad’s service. In addition, we’re not tallying the Marriott Awards points used to stay adjacent to Mayo for Doris' funeral. Obviously, I’m not tallying money spent for libations or the night I spent out with [my friend's] band. We can provide receipts or credit card statements if necessary for an audit, as we always do professionally.

(Detailed expense breakdown that I didn't include - GD) 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

In which I ask a lawyer at work what she thinks about using the estate money to reimburse Ted for his travel expenses, expecting her to agree with me that it is completely nuts to do that, but she does not agree with me, which ticks me off because how can she not see how right I am?

Me: Oh man. You will not believe what my husband's brother wants! He is not in the will and he thinks the estate should pay for his travel expenses to see his dad.

Lawyer: Well, he is probably pretty upset that he is not in the will.

Me: Yeah, but neither is my husband!

Lawyer: But you said at least he got the IRA.

Me: Yes. But only because his dad didn't get around to changing the beneficiary.

Lawyer: But he got something. And the brothers did not.

Me: Their kids do.

Lawyer: But the brothers do not.

Me: Nope.

Lawyer: What Primo could do is send an email to his other brother outlining what the first one wants. If the other brother agrees, then why not?


Lawyer: Better to keep peace in the family, don't you think?

Me: No. We don't care if we ever talk to his brother again after this.

Monday, December 14, 2015

In which I WIN

Ted is ticking Primo off enough that he said that when he meets with the financial adviser next week, he is going to put me alone as the beneficiary on the IRA. That is as it should be, Ted or no Ted.

Also - this is what my mother had to say about Ted planning to send a "tally" for his travel expenses to the funeral. This is pretty much the universal reaction:

I have never heard of anyone being reimbursed from the estate for their expenses to come to a funeral!!! That is just something you do.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

In which Primo's brother counts the silver after Primo leaves

Primo: I have to answer Ted's email.

Me: About his sending you a tally of his expenses?

Primo: He wants my mom's bracelet.

Me: Right. The one your dad promised to Ted'sWife.

Primo: Only the one I found isn't the right one.

Me: Didn't you give it to them when we were all at the house?

Primo: Yes.

Me: Then why didn't they say something then?

Primo: They took it to a jeweler and he told them it was costume jewelry.

Me: Why would they take it to a jeweler?

Primo: Because - I don't know. But he wrote, "Whereas TW is delighted to have it as a keepsake from Doris, it sure would be great to honor Dad’s wish to TW to bequeath her the one he had in mind. In the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t rise to a high priority; however, I’m always a fan of doing the right thing."

Me: "Doing the right thing?" What's that supposed to mean?

Primo: That I am not doing it right.

Me: Wait. Does he think you have the bracelet and aren't giving it to him? Why would you do that?

Primo: My dad said it was the most expensive piece of jewelry he had ever given my mom.

Me: But - do they want it to sell it? Or do they want it as a keepsake?

Primo: I don't know.

Me: Why is he being so pissy with you? His tone implies that you are withholding the bracelet from him.

Primo: I know.

Me: But you don't have it! And you don't even want it!

Primo: I know.

Me: I don't want it!

Primo: I know.

Me: Why is he like this?

Primo: I don't know.

Me: This is like your mom accusing me for five years of stealing her watch and then not bothering to tell us until a year after she found it in the pocket of her sweater that she had found it. Why do people in your family think you and I are stealing their jewelry?